PHAS proteins as mediators of the actions of insulin, growth factors and cAMP on protein synthesis and cell proliferation.
PHAS-I and PHAS-II are members of a newly discovered family of proteins that regulate translation initiation. PHAS-I is expressed in a wide variety of cell types, but it is highest in adipocytes, where protein synthesis is markedly increased by insulin. PHAS-II is highest in liver and kidney, where very little PHAS-I is found. PHAS proteins bind to eIF-4E, the mRNA cap-binding protein, and inhibit translation of capped mRNA in vitro and in cells. In rat adipocytes PHAS-I is phosphorylated in at least five sites, all of which conform to the consensus, (Ser/Thr)-Pro. Both PHAS proteins are phosphorylated in response to insulin or growth factors, such as EGF, PDGF and IGF-1. Phosphorylation in the appropriate site(s) promotes dissociation of PHAS/eIF-4E complexes. This allows eIF-4E to bind to eIF-4G (p220), thereby increasing the amount of the eIF-4F complex and the rate of translation initiation. Increasing cAMP promotes PHAS-I dephosphorylation and increases binding to eIF-4E. Unlike PHAS-I, PHAS-II is readily phosphorylated by PKA in vitro, suggesting that regulation of the two proteins differs. However, increasing cAMP in cells also promotes dephosphorylation of PHAS-II. Thus, PHAS proteins appear to be key mediators not only of the stimulatory effects of insulin and growth factors on protein synthesis, but also of the inhibitory effects of cAMP. Moreover, by controlling eIF-4E PHAS proteins may be involved in the control of cell proliferation, as increasing eIF-4E is mitogenic and can even cause malignant transformation of cells. MAP kinase readily phosphorylates both PHAS-I and PHAS-II in vitro, but inhibiting activation of MAP kinase does not attenuate the effects of insulin on increasing phosphorylation of the PHAS proteins in adipocytes or skeletal muscle. MAP kinase phosphorylates neither PHAS-I nor PHAS-II at a significant rate when the proteins are bound to eIF-4E. Therefore, the role of MAP kinase in promoting the dissociation of PHAS/eIF-4E complexes is not clear. Of several protein kinases tested, only casein kinase-II phosphorylated PHAS-I when it was bound eIF-4E. Indeed, the bound form of PHAS-I was phosphorylated more rapidly than the free form. However, it is unlikely that casein kinase II regulates either PHAS protein, as the major site (Ser111) in PHAS-I phosphorylated by casein kinase II in vitro is not phosphorylated in adipocytes, and PHAS-II is not a substrate for casein kinase-II. Pharmacological and genetic evidence indicates that the mTOR/p70S6K pathway is involved in the control of PHAS-I and -II. Thus, PHAS proteins may be mediators of the effects of this pathway on protein synthesis and cell proliferation.
Lawrence, JC; Fadden, P; Haystead, TA; Lin, TA
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